The real world of western NGOs in sub-saharan African countries

Charlotte Zipper

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt


“What happens when an NGO admits failure ?” is the question asked by David Damberger, a member of Engineers Without Broaders, a canadian NGO. After the failure of his project in Malawi, he began to work on the learning of NGOs from possible failures. This project work will explore this idea of learning from some failures for western NGOs. The problem statement would be : “what and how NGOs can learn from their failure ?” It will focus only on projects in sub-saharan African countries because this is the place where the humanitarian aid is the most developed and where everykind of diseases are. The goal of this work is to find what western NGOs can learn from failures and how they can learn from them, it would be based on the case study of David Damberger's project in Malawi. But also on the website and the report of one failed project. I will try to explain the different concepts used in this project work to define another part of the “real world of NGOs” : their failures in different projects. All the same, NGOs can learn from their failures, and the websime is a very useful tool for them. It gives the possibility to NGOs to talk about their failures and to learn from other NGOs' failures. At the end of this project work, it will possible to realize that failures are inevitable for NGOs, they come out because of the non involvment of the population in the process, but also owing to the fact that NGOs choose projects they want to do because of interest. For all that, NGOs can learn from it, they can analyze their failure, admit it, share it with other NGOs to avoid their mistakes.

UddannelserInternationale Udviklingsstudier, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Bachelor el. kandidat
Udgivelsesdato26 maj 2013
VejledereMette Fog Olwig


  • failures
  • NGOs